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Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss reviewed in The Iowa Review

 

Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss

KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

In her finely crafted debut collection, Dear Darwish, Morani Kornberg-Weiss offers readers a graceful synthesis of domestic imagery and political life. By challenging the boundaries between public and private spaces, and between public and private types of address, the poems in this deftly rendered first book show us that a morning cup of coffee, a dish, and a darkened room can serve as a point of entry to questions that are global in scope. Presented as a series of letters to the iconic Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Kornberg-Weiss's poems suggest that the traditionally feminine realm of the home remains at the very center of much larger political and ethical conflicts, presenting us with a perfect matching of form and content all the while. 

With that in mind, I find it fascinating that Kornberg-Weiss engages with the epistolary tradition, as letters are frequently categorized as part of the private, and hence domestic, realm of discourse. As the book unfolds, Kornberg-Weiss politicizes this seemingly feminine type of writing, revealing the myriad possibilities for activism within the epistolary tradition. 

Read the whole review here

Check out Dear Darwish 

by Morani Kornberg-Weiss
Buffalo: Blazevox Books, 2014
$16.00, paperback; ISBN:  978-1-60964-150-4
110 pp.
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Vow by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed in The The Poetry

 

Review: “Vow” by Kristina Marie Darling & “The Blue Rental” by Barbara Mor

by KARL WOLFF on AUGUST 18, 2014

 

 

EXCESS AND ASCESIS: TWO FEMINIST VISIONARY POETS

VOW, BY KRISTINA MARIE DARLING

THE BLUE RENTAL, BY BARBARA MOR

____________________________________________________________

-“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

 Timothy 11 -12, The Bible, King James Version

-“Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit.”

(“You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will nevertheless come back”)”

 -Horace (65-8 BC), Epistles I.X.24

Kristina Marie Darling created a domestic drama that unfolds in white space, an emptiness surrounded by a commentary in the footnotes.  It is a text without text, a Beckett-ian “texts for nothing” literalized.  Barbara Mor created a panorama, a historico-politico-paleontological rant against collective and individual injustices.  It is written with chthonic excess, with Whitman-esque long poetic lines set amidst the painted landscapes of the American Southwest.  Both Mor and Darling represent visionary feminist poetics; one spare and skeletal; the other a surrealist logorrhea.

Vow is about a marriage.  Rendered in short lines and esoteric marginalia, the bride faces the slow reduction and negation of her identity.  Unlike Mor’s work, The Blue Rental, Kristina Marie Darling’s work isn’t a frontal assault on violent male idiocy and its institutional tentacles (the state, the military, the corporation, etc.).  Darling works through small meditations on relics and debris. 

READ the whole review here

Check out VOW by Kristina Marie Darling here

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The Electric Affinities by Wade Stevenson reviewed

  

 

A book worth reading for the life lessons it recalls, in spite of the ironic fact that the protagonists of this story, by nature of their privileged circumstances, seemed to have been largely exempted from the initiations of life’s burdens and responsibilities at this point in their lives.  It’s the reader’s own hindsight that completes this portrait of an era, set in the summer of 1969. The story revolves around the emotions, observations and uninhibited interactions of a group of young and casual socialites that come together in the Hamptons-Sag Harbor scene and end up hashing out their attractions, impulsive philosophies of man-woman relationships, daydreaming and experimenting with a degree of urgency.

The notion of any memoir of what it was like to be young and engaged in the summer of 1969 gets confused with the grandiosity of myths about the counterculture. But here, the author assures us that being an unformed romantic youth, full of yearning and naïve aspirations, self-indulgent and ardently single-minded,  was no different then, than it is now. Friends give you trouble instead of companionship and family seems indifferent to your real métier.

The narrative flow in this novel reminded me of watching an Eric Rohmer film! Here are the quotidian moments of hanging out on the beach but contemplating the attainment of being elsewhere, moving around at vacation pace, but psychologically sprinting. They strain to be intelligent and articulate, winning over the admiration of their peers, but they frequently fail to live up to their own desires to connect with each other.  There is the contrast between what the characters say and what they are actually doing, and how things turn out, that fuels the drama.

I gave it 5 stars because it’s a great study in social collisions, one which perfectly describes why the baby boomers were also wistfully dubbed the me generation.

— Jane Stevenson

Check out the book here 

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Romance with Small-Time Crooks by Alexis Ivy Reviewed in Rain Taxi

 

Hurray, I am pleased to announce that Romance with Small-Time Crooks by Alexis Ivy Reviewed in the Summer 2014 issue of Rain Taxi.

 

 

Romance with Small-Time Crooks | Alexis Ivy
by Sherry Chandler

Order a copy of the Summer issue of Here

CURRENT PRINT EDITION

Volume 19, Number 2, Summer 2014 (#74)

purchase this issue now

 

 

 

Have a preview of Romance with Small-Time Crooks by Alexis Ivy

 

 

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Dear Darwish by Morani Kornberg-Weiss reviewed in The Electronic Intifada

 

Collaborating with Mahmoud Darwish without his consent

23 May 2014

Interactions between Israelis and Palestinians are inherently power-laden in nature. Whatever else takes place in such contacts, the inescapable fact is that encounters are between occupier and occupied, between people backed by the force of the Israeli state and those oppressed by it.

When such interactions are also combined with questions of aesthetics, poetics and authorial voice, the situation becomes perhaps yet more complicated. Does art have the potential to challenge power relations and create spaces in which inequality can be confronted and redressed?

Can poetry create a space where constructive encounters might take place, ones which shift the power balance? And what does it mean for such an encounter if one of the parties is dead, unable to negotiate their role for themselves?

These are questions raised by Morani Kornberg-Weiss’ debut collection of poetry, Dear Darwish (BlazeVox Books).

Kornberg-Weiss is an Israeli poet living in the United States. Like most Israelis, she served in the Israeli army. Unlike most Israelis, however, she has also spoken out against the country’s human rights abuses, and has stated publicly that she supports aone-state solution — although she questions its feasibility given the right-wing tendencies in current Israeli politics.

Dear Darwish takes the form of a series of poems addressed to the late, great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. They are intended to be, as Kornberg-Weiss says in one poem:

without mediation.
A movement towards.
A form of contact.

Some are confessional, some pleading, some contemplative or they explore issues such as Israeli military brutality or the destruction of Palestinian history. A sequence entitled “Nakba Museum” tackles the global recognition of the Jewish Holocaust — “I would have to plan a trip around the world in order to visit every Holocaust Museum, education center and memorial” — and criticizes the fact that the Nakba — the expulsion of more than 750,000 Palestinians and the destruction of hundreds of villages in the lead-up to Israel’s establishment — remains marginal in most countries’ cultural mainstreams.

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